Taiwanese authorities yesterday apologised to the public and expelled a ruling party member at the centre of a corruption probe. It was an attempt to minimise the political fallout that has hurt President Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party. Mr Chen, speaking at a campaign rally in Ilan county, said he was there to apologise over the behaviour of a 'certain official'. He was referring to Chen Che-nan, his former confidant, who is being questioned by the judiciary over his alleged role in a subway corruption scandal. Chen Che-nan used to be Chen Shui-bian's deputy secretary-general and an adviser. 'Regardless of whether [he] will be sued or freed on bail, it is still an act of disgrace to the DPP,' the president told the rally. The former aide was freed on bail of NT$500,000 ($115,500) on Friday night after being questioned by prosecutors for 11 hours over allegations that he had used his influence when deputy-secretary to the president to help employment agency Hua Pan win licences to hire foreign workers from Thailand for the subway project in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan. The aide denied the charge, but admitted he had violated policy in 2002 by joining former vice-chairman of the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Company, Chen Min-hsien, in visiting a casino during a trip to South Korea. The scandal is a serious blow since the DPP has repeatedly vowed to end corruption. Political analysts said it would seriously affect the DPP's chance in the year-end local government elections. The subway scandal has also seriously hurt Chen Shui-bian because he had claimed no knowledge of what his aide did. However, cable TV channel TVBS has revealed a document it claims showed the aide did report to the president about the Thai workers. Yesterday, Chen Shui-bian stressed he had nothing to do with the subway scandal. 'I never got involved, inquired about or intervened in it. If I did, I am willing to exit the stage,' he said. The series of reports about the alleged scandal have infuriated some DPP lawmakers, who demanded that the Government Information Office (GIO) shut down the TV station, alleging it was trying to sabotage the government. GIO yesterday demanded that TVBS clarify by tomorrow whether it violates regulations by being fully funded by foreign institutions. The station is financed by Hong Kong and mainland interests. Foreign institutions are not allowed to own more than half of any media outlet.